It’s mildly embarrassing to me that the raspberry bush that the “birds planted” in my yard does better than the one that I water and actually care for regularly. No matter, the birds dropped it in the perfect spot, my old garden box, so I get to benefit from their ingenuity I suppose in some form. The raspberries that humans planted were sparse, but large, red and delicious while the raspberries that the birds left us are small, black and a little more tart so I looked for a recipe where I could combine them to get the best of both worlds and I found it, in a cake on one of my fave websites The Smitten Kitchen. I veganized it and was good to go with what is now one of my favorite recipes for any berry. This recipe makes one thin 9-inch cake.
1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick (56 grams) unsalted butter substitute, softened ( I used Earth Balance )
2/3 cup (146 grams) plus 1 1/2 tablespoons (22 grams) sugar, divided ( make sure it’s a vegan brand )
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest ( it’s optional but man does it take this to a new level of yum )
1 large (57 grams) vegan egg of choice, I used a flax egg
1/2 cup (118 ml) well-shaken buttermilk ( to make vegan buttermilk, I took 1T of white vinegar – you could also use lemon juice for this – and added it to 1/2C unsweetened Califia almond milk, let it set for a few minutes and then beat the crap out of it with a whisk – very technical, I know)
1 cup (5 ounces or 140 grams) fresh raspberries, I used a mix of red and black
Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. “Butter” and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside. In a larger bowl, beat vegan butter and 2/3 cup (146 grams) sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla and zest, if using. Add egg and beat well.
At low speed, mix in flour mixture in three batches, alternating with vegan buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined. Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Be careful, make sure the middle is not more dense than the sides here or you will have a dry outside and too moist of a middle. Scatter raspberries evenly over top and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons (22 grams) sugar.
Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool to warm, 10 to 15 minutes more. Invert onto a plate.